Friends of Hillhouse Wood
The Friends of Hillhouse Wood is a group of local residents who work with The Woodland Trust to look after this beautiful remnant of ancient woodland.
Every year Hillhouse Wood provides a stunning display of Bluebells, along with orchids and a variety of other woodland flowers. It is also one of the best places in north Essex to hear the song of the Nightingale, amidst those of many other songbirds. There are also colonies of rare butterflies. Altogether a very special place.
What Do The Friends Do?
The Friends perform two main roles. They:
- organise regular work parties during the winter. These maintain the paths, clear scrub and improve wildlife habitats;
- run a series of wildlife walks throughout the year. These cover such areas as mammals, fungi, moths, bats, spring flowers and birds. All are welcome to come along. (Click links for more details and pictures).
Members of the Friends receive a newsletter three times year, containing news about the wood and the activities of the Friends. The running of the Friends is undertaken by a committee which meets 6 times a year. Should you have any comments or queries for their consideration please email the Chairman, Andrew Savage, at [email protected] with the details.
About the Wood and Media Attention
Hillhouse Wood is a 10-15 minute walk from St Mary’s Old Church, Hall Road, West Bergholt, Colchester CO6 3DU (here). It lies towards the end of the farm track that runs down the side of the old church. In 2013 The Times published an article on “30 wild days out for Spring” including within it recommendations for wood walks. Featured among them (with a near full-page picture) was Hillhouse Wood about which they said:
A superb springtime wood with a flood of bluebells enhanced by the light created by coppicing of hazels. If you’re lucky, you’ll hear blackbirds and nightingales.
The Times – 13th April 2013
In 2015 The Telegraph joined the growing band of media fans with the picture on the right and the following words:
Hillhouse Wood, near the village of West Bergholt in Essex, is 33 acres of ancient woodland. It has two ponds and two streams running through, and it is one of the best places in Essex to hear the nightingale. The wood is also home to a number of rare butterflies.
The Telegraph – 6th April 2015
If you would like to find out more about the Friends, and the lovely wood we help care for, please contact either Clover Savage, Membership Secretary, at [email protected] (or telephone 01206 242015, or David Bull, who organises our work parties, at [email protected] (or telephone 01206 241684).
Download files and forms:
- Should you wish to join the Friends or renew your subscription – either with the Friends of Hillhouse Wood membership form 2020-21 or by following our new online subscription link.
- To find out more about how the Friends are organized and their constitution – Friends of Hillhouse Wood Constitution 2013.
Other useful links are:
- Colchester Natural History Society;
- The Woodland Trust;
- Essex Wildlife Trust;
- You & your dog in the countryside.
Recent News Items
The following news items are either about, or reference, Hillhouse Wood:
- Easter 2021 at St Mary’s - This Easter 2021 update from St Mary's starts with a message from Revd Anne and also includes: An Easter Blessing;Easter Events;Muddy Church Adventure - fun for kids & family (win an Easter Egg!);Open Church;Appointing a New Priest; … and the… …
- Day 23 of Lockdown – Don’t Go Down To The Woods - Day 23 of Lockdown Day 23 and the sun continued to shine down on us. Wonderful with a bit of a but. Each year our popular Hillhouse Wood becomes an attraction as the spring flowers create carpets of colour. The… …
- Winter Bird Walk 2020 – will you see a Waxwing? - Winter Bird Walk 2020 The first guided walk of the year at Hillhouse Wood takes place on Saturday 29th February when Steve Hallam leads the Winter Bird Walk 2020. Walkers should meet at the Old Church at 10 am (weather… …
- 25th AGM of Friends of Hillhouse Wood - 25th AGM of Friends of Hillhouse Wood The 25th AGM of the Friends of Hillhouse Wood is on Wednesday 11th December 2019. Starting in the Orpen Hall at 7.30 pm, refreshments will be served from 7.00 pm. The Friends will welcome members and non-members alike. Talk… …
- Autumn Fruits in the Rain - Autumn Fruits in the Rain It appears in recent years, that the Autumn Fruits Walk tends to act as a magnet to rain. This year was no exception. However, the weather forecast gave plenty of warning and so the 7 participants came… …
- Autumn Walk – Fruits, Nuts & Seeds - Autumn Walk - Fruits, Nuts & Seeds Steve Hallam will lead a guided walk to seek out fungi, berries, soft fruits, nuts & seeds. All of these are now out in abundance. To join Steve you should meet him at… …
- Dawn Walk Results in Waves of Song - Dawn Walk Results in Waves of Song Steve Hallam led a small group on the annual Dawn Chorus Walk when they were greeted by waves of song. His account of the walk is shown below... On the morning of 18th… …
- Early Start for Dawn Chorus – 18th May - Early Start for Dawn Chorus To get the best from the Dawn Chorus means an early start but it is well worth it. Steve Hallam will be leading this years' Dawn Chorus Walk around Hillhouse Wood, offering the chance to… …
- 2019 Spring Flower Walk with Storm Hannah - Storm Hannah Besets Spring Walk Whilst we had some glorious weather over the Easter weekend the following Saturday brought strong winds, overcast skies and the threat of rain courtesy of Storm Hannah. It was in this environment that Steve Hallam lead… …
- 2019 Spring Flower Walk – Bluebell Heaven - 2019 Spring Flower Walk Steve Hallam's Guided 2019 Spring flower walk is fast approaching. These gentle walks guide you from the Old Church into the wonderful Hillhouse Woods in their spring glory where you might be fortunate to see many… …